A man found driving a vehicle with a suspended license led Citrus Heights police to arrest four people in a suspected identity theft ring.
About 3 p.m. Thursday, a Citrus Heights officer contacted Gary Flores, 42, in the area of Adagio Way and Opus Court and determined that Flores was driving a vehicle on a suspended license, according to a Police Department news release. During a search of the truck Flores was driving, officers found more than 50 stolen credit cards, California identification cards, Social Security cards, checks, bank statements and mail, all belonging to other people. Also found inside the truck were burglary tools, shaved keys, and machines used to manufacture and stamp credit cards.
Police also discovered that the truck Flores was driving was an unreported stolen vehicle from a U-Haul business.
Police said several people were contacted and confirmed they were the victims of identity theft, mail theft and burglary.
Detectives subsequently served a search warrant at Flores’ residence and arrested Aaron Phillips, 40, James Clark, 41, and Larry Shepard, 37. Phillips and Clark had felony warrants for identity theft and burglary, police said.
A female juvenile also was removed from the home and placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Police said a search of the residence turned up several hundred more stolen identification cards, credit cards, bank statements, stolen vehicle license plates and Social Security cards, all belonging to other people. They also reported finding drugs and other contraband inside the home.
A check of some personal information revealed numerous victims of burglaries in several surrounding jurisdictions. Police said detectives will be following up in coming weeks in an attempt to contact people listed on the stolen property.
Police urge people to lock their homes and vehicles when they are away, and not to leave valuables or important personal identification information in plain sight. They also advise residents to check mail regularly and to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.